The Amazon could turn into savannah

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the 28-07-2004

The Amazon rainforest can turn into savannah area by 50 100 years due to climate warming and fires that destroy the forest area in Brazil, warned Tuesday a Brazilian scientist.

"Almost all scenarios suggest a" savanization "(of the Amazon) from 50 to 100 years," said Carlos Nobre, researcher at the National Institute of Space Investigations (INPE), at the Third Conference of the "Large-scale project on the biosphere and the atmosphere of the Amazon" which opened Tuesday in Brasilia.

"In the worst case, the forest loses some 60% of its surface; in the best, everything continues as now; in the case of an intermediate scenario, 20% of its surface disappears, "he said.

"Even without deforestation, global warming could provoke the" savannisation "of 20% at 30%" in the Amazon, Nobre said.

According to Brazilian official sources, 70 years 2002 end, fires destroyed more than 630.000 2 million km3,68 of km2 account that the Amazon forest in the country (70% of the Amazon forest).

The INPE researcher considers that deforestation, caused by the advance of soybean cultivation and cattle breeding, already has a climatic impact, both locally and in more distant areas, since it causes "a decrease rains and a greater warming of the climate ".

Nobre believes that this process can be reversed by creating a major coordinating body for the Amazon. This implies a reorientation of resources, since currently only "3% of research revenues go to the Amazon," said Nobre.


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